At the beginning of this month, Taco Bell announced that it would be testing out delivery in select markets across the country. Taco Bell is partnering with the technology company Doordash, which uses logistical software to make local deliveries cheaper and more efficient. Taco Bell is the latest in a long line of restaurants and other businesses that are looking for ways to improve service and convenience for customers.

The On-Demand Economy

In the statement released from Taco Bell, executives noted how important it is that Taco Bell finds new ways to innovate and compete in the “on-demand economy.” With the proliferation of digital technology, consumers are demanding service in less time and with more convenience than ever before. These new consumer expectations manifest themselves in several ways. For example, consumers now expect to have a myriad of customization options, and this applies to all types of products including food, clothing, and electronics.

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Most importantly for Taco Bell, consumers are also expecting that every product has an option for delivery. Now that individuals can order all types of consumer goods online and have them delivered to their door, they are seeking out restaurants that can provide the same type of services. As the press release stated, delivery is one of the most frequent requests that Taco Bell hears from its customers. In the past, delivery was usually limited to restaurants that served pizza, but this is quickly changing. Taco Bell is hoping to leverage the Doordash technology to offer this service for their customers.

Supporting Delivery With Technology

Because of the labor and fuel costs, it has been difficult for most restaurants to figure out how to deliver food in a way that was profitable. Doordash is a technology company based in Palo Alto, Calif. that has created a logistics platform that uses data-based decision making to make deliveries faster and more cost-effective.

With this software, many businesses will be able to offer same-day delivery at a lower cost than in the past. Taco Bell is Doordash’s first national partner, and this new project will be a great test for the software as the company looks to create partnerships with other franchises and other types of businesses all across the U.S.

Rolling Out Delivery This Year

Though this announcement only came at the beginning of July, Taco Bell has already been testing out delivery in a few select markets across the United States. Due to the program’s success, delivery is now being rolled out in more than 200 restaurants in 90 different cities. Some of the major coverage areas include Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Orange County and Dallas Fort Worth. Depending on how this larger implementation goes and if it satisfies customers, Taco Bell is preparing to make delivery an option for customers nationwide.

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With almost 6,000 restaurants in the United States, Taco Bell is the largest franchise to start moving into delivery, but it is most likely not the last. As more and more franchises offer this service, the pressure to provide delivery will only increase. It will become increasingly important for franchises to find logistics and technology partners who can help them provide these services.